On February 8, 1915,  after receiving a pledge from the RFC to have two Farman Aircraft sent to Mesopotamia to support the Indian Armies campaign there, the Indian Army requested airmen from the Australian Government to fly the aircraft. Australia sent four pilot and fifty mechanics. New Zealand sent an Army Officer who would fly as Observer. The Australian force was known to the Australians and the Australian Flying Corps as the Mesopotamian Half Flight. The force seems to have been known to the British as the Australian Half Flight.

    April 14th - Captain H.A Petre leaves for Bombay as the advance Officer.

    April 20th - Captain T.W. (Tom) White takes temporary command of the Half Flight in Petre's absence and White, Treloar and thirty seven other ranks sail on the Morea for Bombay.

    May 3rd - The Quarter Master Sergeant and three mechanics depart with motor transport on the Ulysses for Bombay.

    May 26th - The Mesopotamian Half Flight arrives from Bombay in the recently built aerodrome at Basra. The aircraft available at their arrival includes Maurice Farman Longhorn and Shorthorn aircraft bought by the Rajah of Gwalior for the allied effort. The Mesopotamian Half Flight is joined by two Indian Army Officers, Captain H.L. Reilly and Captain P.W.L. Broke-Smith as well as the New Zealander Lieutenant W.W.A. Burn.

    May 31st - Captain H.A. Petre carries out the first flight of the Half Flight with Lieutenant W.W.A. Burn as Observer. Petre and Burn area accompanied by another aircraft with Major H.L. Reilly of the Indian Flying Corps and Captain Broke-Smith.

    June 3rd - The Turkish held town of Amara falls to pressure from allied troops despite extreme heat and temperatures through the period. Temperatures often maintaining 120 Fahrenheit.

    June 9th - The Mesopotamian Half Flight move to a new aerodrome at Amara. The two Farman aircraft are to suffer engine problems through this period and are often both grounded indefinitely.

    June 13th - Lieutenant G.P. Merz, detained in Point Cook Australia on instructional duties joins the Mesopotamian Half Flight at Basra. Due to the multi-force nature of the Mesopotamian Half Flight, the Australian Flying Corps members are given Royal Flying Corps commissions with the Australian Flying Corps ranks and are temporarily appointed to the Indian Army. The two Indian Army Officers with Half Flight are given temporary commissions as Majors, with Broke-Smith being given the title, "Deputy-Assistant-Director of Aviation, and Reilly the Flight Commander. Rank, position and title being extremely important as always to the older military structures.

    June 15th - The beginning of the season when "Shamal" blows. Shamal is a string seasonal wind that blows from the North North West at a consistent thirty to forty miles an hour. The aircraft of the time were only capable of 50 miles an hour so travelling into a string Shamal often meant the Farman and Martinsyde aircraft were travelling backwards.

    July 6th - Two Caudron aircraft, C.1 and C.2 are added to the Mesopotamian Half Flight's aircraft strength from Basra.

    July 30th - The two Caudrons of the Half Flight upon returning from an operation are both forced down. The Caudron of the Indian Flying Corps pilot Captain Reilly lands at the village of Abu Salibiq, fortunately among friendly Arabs. The Caudron of Lieutenant G.P. Merz and Lieutenant W.W.A. Burns was forced down with engine trouble about 20 miles from the refilling station amongst hostile Arabs. After a shoot out with the Arabs both Merz and Burns are killed. Friendly Arabs who witnessed the gun fight retold the incident to British authorities later. Cutlacks Official History of the Australian Flying Corps remarks that the pair fought a running battle of five miles in which they killed one Arab and wounded five others before being killed. White led a group which tried to find the Arabs that had shot Merz and Burns but was unable to find the. White's group burnt the house of the local Sheik in a village where the Arabs were reported to be hiding

    August 24th - 30 Sqn Royal Flying Corps arrives with four Martinsyde S.1 aircraft from Egypt. The Mesopotamian Half Flight was absorbed into the flight strength 30 Sqn RFC as A Flight under Captain H.A. Petre, B Flight consisted of the newly arrived RFC personnel under Captain A. Graves and 30 Sqn was commanded by Major S.D. Massey.

    August 29th - Captain H.A. Petre test flies the Martinsyde and finds the performance very poor, only achieving 50 mph and taking 23 minutes to reach 7000 feet. The Gnome engines in both the Martinsydes and Caudrons performed poorly in the extreme heat and conditions of Mesopotamia.

    September ?? - 30 Sqn RFC moves to Ali Gharbi.

    September ?? - A Naval Seaplane Flight with three Short aircraft arrive from East Africa under the command of Squadron Commander R. Gordon, but are unable to operate from the Tigris River. Two are soon converted to land based aircraft.

    September 1st - A reinforcement of thirteen mechanics under Sergeant G.J.W. Mackinolty arrive sin Basra from Australia.

    September 11th - Maurice Farman MF.1 crashes at Ali Gharbi during a bad landing by a British pilot reducing the squadron strength to three aircraft, Caudron C.1 and Martinsydes 5 and 6.

    September 13th - Martinsyde 5 crashes while being tested in a high wind.

    September 16th - Lieutenant W.H. Treloar of the Australian Flying Corps and Capt B.S. Aitkens of the Indian Army in Caudron C.3 are forced to land behind enemy lines. The pair were captured by Arabs and handed over to the Turkish. Treloar was to survive being a Prisoner of War and go on to found the Australian War Memorial. The Treloar Building being named after him.

    September 25th - Captain T.W. White flies the Maurice Farman MF.7 up for Basra for the upcoming battle. Captain H.A. Petre flies the Martinsyde 8 to the advanced landing ground at Sanniyat but crashes on arrival. Petre's crash leaves only two aircraft, the Farman MF.7 and Martinsyde 6, available to support General Townsends planned attack on Es-Sinn.

    Septemeber 26th - Photographs are taken of Turkish positions in MF.7 but the photographic paper the Half Flight has at it's disposal is so poor to be useless and the photographs are little help.

    September 27th - General Townshend launches his attack on Kut after out flanking the Turkish positions at Es-Sinn.

    September 30th - The three aircraft, Maurice Farman MF.7

    October 2nd - Captain H.A. Petre crashes on landing Martinsyde 8. Major Reilly writes in a report that the Martinsyde's require a "croquet lawn" to land on with any safety.

    October 5th - Major Reilly in a Martinsyde flys up the river past Aziziya and discovers the Turks have halted and dug in at Ctesiphon.

    October 6th - The three machines remaining in the Squadron move to a landing ground at Aziziya. Captain H.A. Petre makes the first flight to Baghdad and reports the city almost deserted.

    October ?? - Three aircraft, two Martinsydes and a Farman bombed a hostile Arab encampment at Badrah that had been located by the Seaplane flight. The pilots dropped twenty bombs and hastened the surrendering of the hostile Arabs.

    October ?? - Four BE2c aircraft arrive as reinforcements along with pilots, mechanics, stores and a repair section. 30 Squadron was split into A and B Flights and an aircraft park was set up at Basra to support operations. A Flight moved to Aziziya while B Flight which contained the Mesopotamian Half Flight contingent moved to Kut.

    October 18th - Engines are overhauled every 27 hours of service but engine failures are still high with the unrealiable engines and the harsh operating and maintenance conditions.

    November 13th - Captain T.W. White and Captain F. Yeats Brown were captured behind enemy lines after a successful mission to cut the telegraph wires near Baghdad. The Farman would have been pushing to make the return journey with the fuel and load it had carried as it was. White landed the Farman near a pole but clipped the wing, damaging it. The pair tried to taxi away from the approaching Turks as White had done once before but they were caught. White was to write a book of his Prisoner of War experiences with the Turks named, "Guests of the Unspeakable".

    November 21st - Two reconnaissance flights are made, Major Reilly flying to Baghdad and noticing a large Turkish force reinforcing Ctesiphon. Reilly is shot down and the report never reaches General Townshend.

    November 22nd - The allied attack on Ctesiphon begins. Lieutenant Fulton of 30 Sqn RFC is shot down by ground fire in Martinsyde S.1 No.8. Using a device like a rake devised by Captain H.A. Petre, Captain T.W. White has previously located and mapped the vital point that is used in the Ctesiphon attack. The device was held to the forehead and the pegs showed the degree of distance from the centre.

    November 26th - The Flight attached to Aziziya retreat to Kut and the two flights are concentrated there.

    November ?? - Captain T.W. White in Maurice Farman MF.2 landed in the face of Arab rifle fire to pick up the downed Major General G.V. Kemball who was the Chief of General Staff in Mesopotamia who had been forced down in his Short Seaplane.A nearby Indian cavalry patrol rescued the pilot from the Arabs. This is probably the first instance of a down airmen being rescued in this manner. In this month the RNAS pilot in the Dardanelles was awarded the Victoria Cross for the same feat.

    December 1st - Fliegerabteilung No.2 under the command of Hauptmann von Auleck leaves San Stefano for Baghdad. The FA is equipped with ten aircraft of which four are Pfalz parasol aircraft.

    December 4th - The Siege of Kut begins.

    December 7th - Captain H.A. Petre in the Farman MF.7 is ordered to leave for Basra along with many of the Australian mechanics. Captain H.A. Petre would arrive later in Egypt where 1 Sqn Australian Flying Corps was building up to operational strength. Later he would be transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and command a Training Squadron in England. A BE2 also flew out of Kut. Remaining in Kut were five RFC Officers, most of the ground crews of A and B Flights and three unserviceable aircraft. Several Australian mechanics of the Mesopotamian Half Flight are also stranded in the besieged town. Defending Kut are troops of the Indian and British Armies.



    January 4th - The hastily gathered Tigris Corps attacks the Turkish positions and forces the Turks back to the heavily defended lines a Umm-al-Hanna which resisted all allied attacks.

    February 13th - German aircraft flying from their forward aerodrome at Shumran Bend bomb Kut.

    March 7th - Indian and British troops march through the night to attack the Dujaila Redoubt but daylight finds them short fo their attack positions and the Turkish troops hold.

    March 18th - Kut is again attacked by aircraft and bombed, a Hospital being hit. Townshend asks that the RFC retaliate but without sufficient serviceable aircraft the German aerodrome could not be attacked. The other fear was that the German Pfalz aircraft were far superior to the British aircraft.

    April 15th - Food dropping from aircraft to the besieged town of Kut begins. The position at Kut by this time had become critical. The 15th was to see the greatest amount of supplies dropped with 3,350 lbs being sent. Over the next fourteen days a total of 19,000 lbs over 140 flights were dropped. It was not to be enough.

    April 29th - General Townshend surrenders Kut to the Turkish Army. Nine mechanics of the Mesopotamian Half Flight are captured in the town. Of these only two, Sgt J.McK. Sloss and Air Mechanic K.L. Hudson, would survive being Prisoners Of War to return to Australia. The other seven Australian Flying Corps members, Air Mechanic W.C. Rayment, Corporal T.M.N. Soley, Air Mechanic D. Curran, Air Mechanic L.T. Williams, Air Mechanic F.L. Adams, Air Mechanic W.H. Lord and Air Mechanic J. Munro all died while Prisoners Of War.